the evolutions of the uss midway cv-41, and the uss enterprise ncc-1701-e

Retrofits have always been a part of modifying US military vessels and aircraft since the beginning of time because it is usually cheaper to fix and add on rather than start over from scratch. The same carries thrrough with the starships from Star Trek, and this was mainly the same reason(s) that it was cheaper to change stickers or make new details to go on the existing practical miniatures rather than build a whole new model.  At one point, Andy Probert’s “D” was considered to be the new non retro-ed “E” in the early days of First Contact to save big cash on a new ship.

the d is an e

The D is an E.

Probably one of the best examples of a multiple major retrofit would be for the USS Midway CV-41.  The US aircraft carrier served in WWII and was designed with one long and narrow flight deck.  The ship’s first retrofit was the addition of an angled landing and launch strip which brought her into the jet age.  The next and biggest retro fit was the addition of another aircraft elevator (3 in all) and a widening and lengthening of the angled landing deck. The carrier with all of its redesigns served from the 40′s to the early 2000′s and is now docked as a permanent museum in the San Diego harbor.  She’s a beautiful ship and one incredible tour.

The Midway’s massive changes were the core inspiration for the Enterprise-E’s retrofits as well. Script changes for the three films that featured the E were the basis for a lot of the major changes and personal reasons were behind the minor ones. The “E” was designed for the 1996 Star Trek film, First Contact, and the written description of the ship was that it was the battle bird of Starfleet with the sole purpose of battling an inevitable attack from the Borg! Thus the design of the ship followed a different path more towards the aggressive rather than the peaceful “D” that Andy designed.

The film a was a huge design show and most of the art department was splitting duties between DS9, Voyager, and First Contact.  My job was to get the designs of the ships as far as the approval process, then move on to the next one. For the “E” it took a while to get there, but I was very excited and happy with the final rough sketch that the producers approved.  With that sketch came some rough views and lots and lots of detail drawings showing different parts of the ship and how everything came together.  As all of this was going on at my desk, Rick Sternbach was at his in the Voyager art dept. working on the deck details,  and eventually the blueprints. Our work loads were huge with all going on and I was so happy that Rick was doing the plans, although I was extremely envious and wanted to carry this one to the end. Rick masterfully set the sketch to working drawings, and added all the subtle details that he was so good at.  Rick’s plans where specifically for ILM to build the miniature from, and poor Rick never got to fully complete the plans.  By the time he had to be finished, he had drawn the top, bottom, front, back, and side views of the saucer and the main hull of the ship.  His final drawing was of the nacelle strut but he was never allowed the time to attach it to the ship or even to draw a single line of what the nacelle was to be. Voyager had to have him back full-time so the E plans were incomplete.

Herman Zimmerman (my boss) asked for a model to be built so as to help sell what we were doing, step-by-step, to the producers, and also to help work out the unforeseen problems that could happen without a full set of plans.  The finished model was about 28 inches long and wound up being gold plated and displayed in the ready-room of the Enterprise set. Both a casting of the model and Rick’s plans went to ILM where their genius took over and one awesome model was created. Big too, measuring about 11 feet long.  All was awesome, and she was a beauty on the silver-screen.  Once the film was well on its way, we started receiving a lot of photos of the model in plan view shots so as to aid in the accuracy for the graphics and playback. Looking at the photos, there were a few lines that I wish I could have changed if I would have had the chance.

With Insurrection, the E made the jump from practical motion-control miniature to a CG model. For this one, my job was to make a set of plans based upon both Rick’s work and the finished miniature from ILM.  So the first set of complete plans were compiled and sent off to Santa Barbara VFX studio to be modeled digitally.  Being an already established starship, nothing was done to alter the main lines of what had already been seen on the screen, and careful measures where taken when we were creating the Captain’s Yacht out of the under-saucer torpedo launcher, so as to maintain continuity. About this time Star Trek The Magazine was being produced out of the UK. and they had sent over their version of the E plans for future magazine art and articles.  Their art department was phenomenal with all that they did, and for the “E” they really beautifully represented all the various views of the ship.

When Nemesis came along there were to be changes and detail additions to the E and the CG work was moving from Santa Barbara to Digital Domain and a whole new group of 3D and practical modelers were ready to take the reigns. With these changes came a request to alter the ship’s lines a bit to bring the new ship closer to the original lines from the sketch. Approval was granted, but was to be in two parts. For the E seen in the majority of the film, the drawings provided by Star Trek The Magazine were used to do the subtle line changes, with the additional weapons and launcher details added. The digital model files were provided from Santa Barbera and all was thrown into the lap of Jay Barton at Digital Domain. Jay made a fantastic model and put a beautiful and moody paint scheme on the new retro-ed E. For the end of the film the badly destroyed and damaged E is being rebuilt in space-dock. This is where the opportunity was given to really fix all the lines and flow to match the roots of where the original drawing had left off. Not too often does one gets the chance to rework a beloved piece of art, and I was so happy to get the chance regardless of how minor the changes were.

The drawings were done and to be seen as the E leaves the space-dock at the end of Nemesis, with what we were hoping to get approval on being the new aztec patterned paint job, that was so prominent with all the preceding variations of the Enterprise. As production went on, it was becoming clear that Nemesis was going to be the last of the TNG movies and thus, the E would fly no more. Very sad thoughts, and I was so hoping to at least to get to see that final version fly off into space… Budget and script changes kept the E in the bay under repair so all that exists of the big finish only exists on paper as a bunch of plans. She had a short life, but what she got to do in that time was a treat to watch on the big-screen. Lots of plans to see, and one big compilation puts all the variations into perspective. Lots of fun to throw into Photoshop and make a transparency to overlay to see how the lines subtly change. So with that, enjoy the USS Midway and the E both, from start, to their farewell journey.

All the deck changes of the USS Midway.

The original 1945 flight deck.

The first of the modifications show the addition of the angled flight deck.

And the final refit of the much larger flight deck.

Although the flight deck changed drastically over the years, the hull did not, making for quite a contrast in the mass of the upper and lower quadrants.

The approved sketch of the E.

Combination plans of Sternbach's drawings and the ILM model.

One of the E views from the UK drawings.

The UK drawings were used to do the first phase of the E refit for Nemesis.

And the final phase of the Nemesis E for the space-dock departure scene.

A montage of all the refits in scale to each other.


76 Responses to “the evolutions of the uss midway cv-41, and the uss enterprise ncc-1701-e”

  1. 1 evil_genius_180
    December 10, 2010 at 1:45 am

    When I first saw the Galaxy-class Enterprise with the 1701-E markings, I was like “what the heck?” (I think that was on the TNG special features) I thought it was just a joke, I never knew that they ever considered using that model for the -E. I’m glad they didn’t, though. Andy’s -D is from a time when the Federation was more at peace and his design reflects that. Your -E shows a newer, meaner Federation that’s been putting up with old enemies like the Romulans re-emerging and threats from the Gamma and Delta quadrants, the Borg and Dominion. It looks more like the warship it’s supposed to be whereas Andy’s looks more like a ship of peaceful exploration.

    I love the write up on the changes that were made. It’s not every artist that gets to go back and “fix” things that were done on a filming model, I bet it was a great treat for you to get to do so. I also enjoyed the part about the aircraft carrier, I knew carriers were different from WW2 to present, but I just figured they were newer classes, not refitted WW2-era carriers. And, of course, the artwork is awesome as always. 😀

    • 2 johneaves
      December 10, 2010 at 8:57 am

      Thanks evil-g, it was many years after the TNG films were done that we discovered this model just before it was getting ready to go to auction so a lot of inquires later the story was found out about that sticker change.

      • 3 doubleofive
        December 10, 2010 at 9:10 am

        The story I heard was that it was put on there as a joke. Why would they feel the need to blow up the D if they were thinking of using the same model later?

      • 4 evil_genius_180
        December 10, 2010 at 10:29 am

        I remember where I saw it now. There’s a documentary on one of the TNG seasons (3, I think) by the woman who managed Trek’s property warehouse with all of the models and props and whatnot. Anywho, she was showing the -D but it had NCC-1701-E on it, which she highlighted and said it was a “mystery.” Either she knew the story and didn’t want to say or she was just in the dark about it. 😉

      • 5 R.J.Minnes
        December 21, 2010 at 3:09 am

        The story of the sticker change was already related in the book “Industrial Light and Magic, Into the digital realm” (1995). In it it was revealed that ILM’s John Goodson was responsible, and not really as a joke. He was led to believe that the new Enterprise was going to be a Galaxy-class vessel (out of cost considerations, what else) and did the change-over to save the people at Paramount the trouble, just before the model was shipped back to the studio.

      • 6 R.J.Minnes
        December 21, 2010 at 3:25 am

        Btw, the special was on seasons 2 specials and the lady was Penny Juday, who got the job as archivist long after the model had returned, and it is more than likely she genuinely did not know what this was all about.

      • 7 evil_genius_180
        December 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

        Thanks, I couldn’t remember which season it was. I have them all and the special features kind of blur together after a while. 😉

  2. December 10, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Looking at the Midway at the start of her life and end, you could swear that they are different ship. It looks like they stripped her down to her core and rebuilt her with each refit.

    As for the E-E, it is a shame we will not get to see here on the big screen or small again. Though we can always hope.
    I love her in her different versions. but First Contact will be the best for me. I love the idea of the holo Screen, shame they did not keep that

    When you disgined her, did you alway plan to place the Captains Yatch under the trop lunrchers, or was that chosien as the best location for Inserection?

    • 9 MikeZ
      December 10, 2010 at 6:51 am

      And sadly we never got to see hybrids (like how they combined the Midway’s with features found on newer carriers).

      The most prominent example probably still is Dak Phoenix’ Allegiance:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCho6AQ4cwc (someone else re-posted his video on YouTube)

      In a way it’s similar to some of John’s earlier concept drawings where he still echoed many of the D’s lines.

    • 12 johneaves
      December 10, 2010 at 9:08 am

      I thought the same thing from the pictures and drawings I had in books of the Midway,, I was always a big picture book fan and never read all the text so it was a long time before I realized that the ship was the original throughout all the refits. Yeah that holo screen was so cool and hated to see it go! I never heard of the captains yacht until I read the Insurrection script and with some quick research about the voyager and the D’s yacht, the location was already set for me and with a lot of luck the launcher with a few exterior line modifications worked out perfectly like it was always planned..

  3. 13 Barrie Suddery
    December 10, 2010 at 2:09 am

    When I first saw the E-E, my jaw literally hit the floor. I was stunned by how sleak and rapier like she is. Like she’s doing Warp 10 standing still.

    • 14 johneaves
      December 10, 2010 at 9:12 am

      I love that!!! and we all as an art department saw the e move for the first time at the theater and it was the coolest thing to see what ILM had done and what a great opening scene with that Goldsmith score subtly leading the way!!

  4. 15 the bluesman
    December 10, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Its not just the military and spaceships that get refitted. Plenty of that goes on in civilian aviation too.

    The 727s my dad used to fly had hush kits on the engines to make them quieter and more fuel efficent, and zero zero heads up displays which means you could land with zero visibility. Also avionics and other systems were constanty upgraded.

    Alot of mods and refits were done to extend the aircrafts service life to keep them flying longer.

    I think it’s interesting how the ships of TNG were designed to have a service life of 100 years, but we got the E-E just 9 years after the E-D! And glad we did.

  5. 18 Boris
    December 10, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Wonderful post, more Enterprise-E! I would really like to see the 28-inch model in detail.

    Some fans have interpreted the 3.5% repositioning of the nacelles to indicate that the ship is now shorter, but obviously that wasn’t the intent. However, why did the length change from 2248 to 2250 feet?

    • 19 johneaves
      December 10, 2010 at 9:16 am

      the 2 foot change was just a result of the higher struts and the new nacelle placement. it was a subtle change that showed up when the scale was thrown on the new plans so 2248 changed to 2250

  6. December 10, 2010 at 6:02 am

    As I was looking at the print you sent me, I wondered how involved you were in the Nemesis “re-design”. I was afraid that someone had hot-rodded your design without your input, I’m so glad to hear that you did it yourself! Also cool to see the plans for the Ultimate E that matches all of the lines on the original sketch! I would have loved to see the fully-finished model of that. Does the model is spacedock at the end have some of those changes, or did they just go with the model they already had?

    I would love for someone to make a CG model of what amounts to the canon Final Enterprise-E, using the plans already provided by John here!

    • December 10, 2010 at 6:12 am

      On your suggestion, I played with the lines in Photoshop. I find it most interesting that the UE (Ultimate E) would have brought the CG model back not only to your original sketch, but much closer to the physical model than the CG one from Insurrection.

      • December 10, 2010 at 6:14 am

        And how do you draw the EXACT thing over and over again? I mean, all of the lines, the windows, everything lines up perfectly! One of the first things I remember seeing on here was the Insurrection ship scale chart, and the it all was just as detailed as any other drawing!

    • 23 johneaves
      December 10, 2010 at 9:19 am

      The final model in space dock was Jays original CG model,, all the discussions and plans only went as far as Paramount so that final push lost speed, cash, and mostly interest as the TNG future films was decidedly coming to an end.

      • 24 johneaves
        December 10, 2010 at 9:23 am

        for the big drawings a little white out, the copy machine and an ink pen did the trick for re-adjusting the major lines, while somethings like the Nacelle struts wher partial trace drawings with new outer lines drawn in. for the little scaled ships they were just the bigger plan drawings shrunken down on the copier and then cut n past with spray glue… HAAA these methods seem so ancient now with the fact it is all done in the computer now.

      • 25 doubleofive
        December 10, 2010 at 9:30 am

        I was hoping the answer was “magic, but photocopiers and whiteout is even better!

  7. December 10, 2010 at 6:39 am

    The Sovereign class is beautiful, I’m not a fan at all of post-TNG ship design. Looking closely, you can see plenty of homage to the constitution design.

    An interesting article from the legendary Martin Bower concerning the construction of the 1701-E replicas he makes can be found here: http://www.martinbowersmodelworld.co.uk/enterprise__e_.html

  8. 27 johneaves
    December 10, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I love that article and model that Matin Bower did,, he’s the king and I am such a fan of his work from Space 1999 to what he is doing now with all of his freelance work. And yes there was a lot of homage to Jefferies’s TOS Enterprise. I love that ship so and it was great to be allowed to move back in that direction of starship architecture with First Contact

    • 28 doubleofive
      December 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

      Maybe you should do an article on the homages. I never really liked Drexler’s NX-01 until he broke it down on his blog and spelled out the various ways it actually did stay in the lineage of Jefferies’ Enterprise. Then he did the refit version and you can really see it now.

      I liked that the E-E got away from the basic starship design in the first place, I’d love to see more about how its not as radical as I think it may be!

  9. 29 JNG
    December 10, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I never saw the Enterprise-D or her class as looking like they were somehow “more peaceful.” The class would have been designed and built during the Cardassian Wars and who knows what other conflicts. I mention this because I also never saw the Enterprise-E as a departure. It looks to me like it belongs to the lineage—”in the hall of fame of Enterprises,” as Rick Berman put it, and that’s my favorite thing about it. I don’t imagine that it’s for different duties, but is capable of carrying out all the missions of Starfleet, like any of the other large cruiser-type starships. Its overall proportions seem Excelsior-influenced (befitting the cinematic aspect ratio) and its shapes and colors felt new, but it wasn’t so radically different that it didn’t feel right as our hero ship. For certain aspects, there was no need to reinvent the wheel—of course artists want to put their stamp on things, but it takes real skill to do so while respecting the established Trek look, technical elements, and so on.

    Now DS9’s Defiant was a departure, and I admit I had trouble feeling affection for it, with its combat-oriented purpose and chunky shape. However, the writers made sure it had its fair share of technical problems and so on, and it became clear the project was a one-off for Starfleet, so I was able to live with it.

  10. 30 johneaves
    December 10, 2010 at 10:49 am

    well said and lots of good points stated there, So to correct myself the D was not necessarily a peaceful ship, It is a starship after all but the peaceful aspect came from the crew make up wich included families children,and a fish tank. so in moving on with Roddenberry’s core dream of Star trek being a universe of exploration and peaceful determination, Andy’s D fit perfectly into Genes vision. The E is more or less a battle ship and the family aspect of the crew has been removed.

    • 31 the bluesman
      December 10, 2010 at 8:47 pm

      I remeber when TNG came on and soem of teharticles from the producers and writers were saying that the D should be almost scuplture like in form.

      It took me a while to warm up to the D but then when I read soem of Andrew’s interviews on why designed it the way he did it started to make sense.

      What I love about the E is it is sharp and pointy like an F-104 and subsribes to the looks like ti is going fast when it is standing still.

  11. 32 Boris
    December 10, 2010 at 11:33 am

    If you still have a copy of Rick Sternbach’s blueprints (which I know were supposed to be 1/2 scale – five feet long for a ten-foot miniature), do they specify a standard scale for the ILM miniature (such as 1 inch = X feet?) Or was it just supposed to be about 10 feet long without any standard scale in mind, as is often the case with studio miniatures?

    I know that some of Rick’s blueprints have a standard scale, some of them don’t, depending on the constraints of a particular task.

  12. December 10, 2010 at 11:46 am

    i have a lapel pin from the carrier memorial in san diego, but i have never been to the ship itslef, i got close though.

  13. December 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Fascinating post, bro. A history lesson on two levels. Thanks! 🙂

    peace & bananas | deg

    Ps. I took the liberty of formatting your post a bit. Breaking texts into paragraphs makes for easier reading on the eyes.

    • December 10, 2010 at 2:51 pm

      Oh, and in case I didn’t mentioned it, I always loved E-E, dude. Bravo! And thanks for her! I should build her some day and makes me some deg-brand art out o’ her.

    • 39 johneaves
      December 10, 2010 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks bro I am a bad writer to be sure,, If only I could draw my posts in storyboard form all would be grand!!!

      • December 10, 2010 at 6:39 pm

        No prob, bud. Ha, there ya go; picture’s worth a 1000 words an’ all.

        Actually, I think you’re pretty darn good at turnin’ a phrase and overall composition, just could use a lil’ polish in the actual writing structure dept.

        peace & bananas | deg

      • 41 johneaves
        December 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

        Ahh my friend you wear manny crowns and you have earned a new one today!!! The Grammer & Etiquette king shall be your latest title and thanks for fixing my mess!

    • 42 doubleofive
      December 13, 2010 at 5:52 am

      Thanks for doing that! Makes it a lot easier!

  14. 43 Richard Knapp
    December 11, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Hi John:
    I’ve been traveling all week so I’m joining the party on this one a little late! Absolutely beautiful – the Enterprise “E” is my all time favorite version of the Enterprise. It just has that perfect balance of grace, speed and power. I would have loved to have seen your final refit launch out of drydock at the end of Nemesis. Where any drawings of Riker’s new ship, the Titan, ever done as part of the Nemesis project?

    Thank you for posting!

    Hope all is well,

    • 44 johneaves
      December 12, 2010 at 1:00 pm

      I actually drew some roughs from the beat sheet when we got it and later in the production the visuals were dropped and dialog was all you got,,, I’ll dig around and see what I can find for you.. And thanks for the kind comments as well!

  15. 46 Scott D
    December 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    No matter how she looks, the Enterprise E has been my favorite Enterprise design. The Movie Consitution being a very close second.

    And I have to admit, I was very surprised how accurate the CGI model was. When I decided to use the picture of the Enterprise-E’s CGI Model (that Doug Drexler posted on his blog not too long ago) as a reference point for my Enterprise-F design (for the STO design competition), the measurements were lining up perfectly. And this was on AutoCAD, which you can’t get anymore accurate than a Drafting program.

    Because of that, I have to now strain my neck to look up at you guys. 😉

    • 47 johneaves
      December 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      That jay Barton is pretty darned unbelievable!!! I love his work and he’s got the eye for detail…. The two are strikingly tight with such an accurate translation from practical to CG!! Haaa your funny and never put people on a pedestal because it makes it easier to get dumped on, HAAAA! when you get your F all ready to go after your competition is over be sure to send it over and we can do a story about it here!!!.

      • 48 Scott D
        December 13, 2010 at 12:22 am

        It’ll be an honor! 😀

      • 49 Scott D
        January 14, 2011 at 10:58 pm

        Hey John, just thought I update you that the entry process of the contest has ended and it’s in the voting.

        Entry #1308 of the Enterprise-F Contest under my STO name Azurian.

        Would’ve liked to send a direct Email instead of bumping posts, but haha I don’t have that information. 😛

  16. 50 Matt Boardman
    December 12, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    You know, John, with as many CG artists as we have here on the blog, I think that we could make the version closest the original designs fly once more. 🙂

    She is a sleek, sexy looking ship for sure. We put up the Christmas Tree a few weeks ago and one of the many Star Trek ornaments that I have for the tree is the Enterprise-E. Always love putting that one up becaus it just looks so cool up there.

    I seem to remember reading in a ST: Communicator magazine back in the day where you were interviewed and at one point had the nacelle pylons sweeping foward until someone mentioned it looked kind of like a turkey? Do you remember that?

  17. 51 Buckaroohawk
    December 12, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Well, since you’ve been receiving so many questions about the Ent-E (which is my second favorite design, coming in right behind the TMP refit), I’ll chime in with mine:

    I never realized that the ship went through so many changes between the three films in which it was featured. I’ll have to go back and watch them again with a more critical eye. In any case, considering all those changes where does the Art Asylum electronic version of the Ent-E fall in terms of accuracy? I’ve found their collection of miniature ships (I can’t bring myself to call them “toys,” mainly because of the craftsmanship they put into them) to be nicely detailed and quite accurate. I was wondering if you concur.

  18. December 13, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    That was an interesting read. Darn shame we didn’t get to see the departure scene.
    Will never forget seeing the E-E in action the first time in FC. Loved it.

  19. 53 Jedman67
    December 13, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    John, just wanted to say, I practically grew up with the classic Ent-D on my tv screen – i loved that ship, just plain gorgeous and all. Nothing at all wrong with the Sovvie, but she’s just not “my” enterprise. Any photos (or renders) you have of the D would be awesomely appreciated and drooled over. Love your blog, keep up the good work – a storyboard is worth 1,000 words after all! 🙂
    King Deg, if you can throw me some of those bananas, im kinda hungry now


    • 54 Boris
      December 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm

      In order to really appreciate the design, I suggest looking for “Star Trek, the Next Generation Sketchbook: The Movies, Generations & First Contact” (out of print). From various overall and detail sketches, to Rick Sternbach’s blueprints, to detailed photos of the ILM miniature, to set designs and photographs.

    • 55 Boris
      December 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      …assuming, of course, you don’t have the book already. 🙂

  20. 57 Terry
    December 14, 2010 at 2:54 am

    I was in the Navy and stationed in Japan, i spent nearly two years looking at the Midway, when the put the larger flight deck they actually had to put a flexible section so that the ship wouldn’t break in heavy seas. As big a ship as Midway is, she is tiny compared to the Nimitz class super-carriers. The Ent-E is my favorite, the only thing I never understood was that the saucer and engineering section are very swoopy but the warp nacelles are very angular.

  21. 58 Barrie Suddery
    December 15, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Off topic, but here’s another reason to love Photoshop:


  22. December 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I don’t know if anyone has said this before, (I didn’t read all the comments) but maybe you should have someone do a cg model and a bunch of wallpapers and even an animation of your final, stronger 1701-e design. I think i would look pretty cool.

  23. December 16, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Can’t wait to read this article, John (it’s a getting quite late here, so will have to wait til tomorrow)! I’m especially interested in the part about the Midway, as I was on it for the Tweethouse/MyOuterSpace.com event back during Comic Con. That was an amazing night and I felt immensely privileged to be on board, surrounded by Trek royalty and fascinating military hardware! 🙂

  24. 62 Calamity_si
    December 18, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Yeah I call it “The Jein Conundrum” . I think it’s something that ANYONE who’s tried designing an Enterprise is familiar with. You’ve got to stick with Greg Jein’s original layout whilst making it look sleek and new. John, I’ve read an interview with you about designing the Sovereign class and you spoke about those kind of difficulties. Seeing as we have all experienced the same syndrome, I thought it deserved an official title, hence “The Jein Conundrum”…

    I’ve gone through the whole Jein Conundrum when designing the successor to the Sovereign class. This is my version of the enterprise F that I entered for Star Trek Online’s competition.


    • 63 Boris
      December 22, 2010 at 3:29 am

      Uh, Greg Jein was a modelmaker on Trek. At most he might have designed a ship of the week. Which original layout did you mean exactly? Jefferies’?

  25. 64 Thomas E
    December 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I was in 5th Grade when this ship first appeared in First Contact and she has been my favorite ship ever since. I always loved the upgraded version seen in Nemesis as well. She just seems so much more streamlined and elegant, yet still deadly. Your sketches definitely make me more curious about her. For example, she looks taller now in her side profile, to accommodate Deck 29 maybe? I would love to see full specification for the upgrade if there are any. If not I’ll just have to make up my own :).

    I wonder if Doug Drexler would be interested in bringing this ship to life? He recently built a full CG model of the “what would have been” Season 5 Enterprise NX-01. It was featured in the 2010 Ships of the Line calender. It would be amazing if these schematics could be used to build the 1701-E upgrade to be featured in a future Calender. I would buy that in a heartbeat.

    • 65 Boris
      December 22, 2010 at 4:33 am

      No, the NX refit was adapted from the original NX LightWave model by Pierre Drolet, the original NX modelmaker who now works for BSG In-House VFX along with designer Doug Drexler. The Enterprise-E would probably have to be a new build by a fan modeller.

      I seriously doubt that John Eaves made any changes on account of Deck 29; there are no changes to the deck count on the exterior.

      • 66 Thomas
        December 25, 2010 at 3:42 am

        Hmmm… you’re right. At first glance she appears taller, (to me anyways), but when viewing them side by side you can see they’re the same height. I’m actually really interested in seeing her hull coloring and aztec pattern as well. Personally I liked the color and aztec patterns on the Nemesis Enterprise, although I hear a lot of people preferred the First Contact look. I just wonder what the refit would have looked like.

        Would you think someone at Digital Domain would have the original model? Probably not considering how many years it has been. It might even be easier to build a new model anyways. Maybe. I’m not a modeler lol.

      • 67 Boris
        December 25, 2010 at 11:15 am

        Its modelmaker Jay Barton almost certainly has it, so if you can contact him and arrange for the necessary $$$ and license from Paramount… 🙂

  26. 68 Bill
    December 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about! What a wonderful and informative post. Thanks for that and please keep ’em coming.

  27. 69 Calamity_si
    December 23, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Doh! Thanks for the correction there Boris. Jefferies is the guy that built the original Enterprise right? Then yeah, I meant him. Whoops! 😉

  28. January 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    As the Marketing Director of the USS Midway Museum and author of 3 books on the 47-year odyssey of the USS Midway, I’m curious whether you were aware of the retrofit story of the USS Midway as you redesigned the Enterprise. If so, what specifically you drew from the Midway designs in your redesign efforts? Or was Midway something you became aware of, post-Enterprise redesign? Thank you.

  29. 74 RAJ
    October 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    John, will there been any chance in the future of your brilliantly design of the final phase sovereign class refit being in anything star trek e.g. a poster of movie or tv series etc.? I’m suprised that this isn’t in star trek online hopfully if there is going to be new star trek series that they will use this or movie i love the design and i’m curious to see what this will look like e.g. cgi or model or before. thanks.

  30. February 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I’m chiming in here with RAJ (late, I know) about someone potentially bringing the final refit to life in CG. That would be awesome.

    As a side note, around ’05 I read your Designing the Enterprise-E article in the old ST: The Magazine, and I was awestruck by your nearly-final “turkey” design.

    It got me inspired to try and make the ungainly struts and engines work for it, and I came out with a set of plans that I posted online years ago, but the only copies I know of now are possibly lost in a dead storage drive.

    Computers. What they giveth, they taketh away.

    • 76 RAJ
      February 16, 2012 at 3:27 am

      Cool to hear Nick. If any of you who play star trek online, has anyone noticed that the nacelles on the sovy 😀 are too low? They are hiding behind the saucer.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

December 2010

%d bloggers like this: